Outdated claims on document management

Sometimes you read things that are just plain wrong. Take today, for instance. I spotted a potentially interesting headline at AECcafe.com: Managing Your AEC Content – Part I, so I click on the link and, scanning the opening paragraph, see the words ‘document management’. So far, so good, but then I read the piece….

The opening sentence reads: “Until recently the AEC industry has been slow to adopt computerized document management.”

While this may be true of some firms, there are many more on both sides of the Atlantic that now have 10 years or more of experience, some dating back to the 1990s, of using electronic document management systems (when I was at Tarmac/Carillion in the mid-1990s, for example, Schal was using an EDMS to manage documentation on the redevelopment of London’s Royal Opera House).

In my view, the AECcafe.com article reads like a feature written by someone from software vendor Synergis Software, for most of the content focuses on its Adept product. And as Adept is a conventional client/server product, it conveniently ignores the significant developments that have taken place in alternative web-based systems (so-called ‘project extranets’, aka construction collaboration technologies) to overcome particular AEC challenges of interoperability, fragmented supply chains, user mobility, etc. Apart from brief mentions of Documentum and Bentley ProjectWise, the article almost ignores other key AEC players and overlooks significant web-based developments such as Autodesk Buzzsaw, Constructware (now Autodesk-owned), e-Builder, ProjectTalk, Citadon (now CTSpace, of course), etc.

Let’s hope the second part of the article, due next week, is better.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2007/01/outdated_claims/

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  1. I agree with your observations about the incorrectness of several points made in this article, and your observation “In my view, the AECcafe.com article reads like a feature written by someone from software vendor Synergis Software, for most of the content focuses on its Adept product” is also right on the money – this is more of an ‘advertorial’, rather than an unbiased review by the author.
    Document management is one of the areas where there has been a lot of focus by vendors like e-Builder and Constructware/Autodesk, so I think we’re both in agreement that the statement about there not being ‘much development from engineering document management vendors for AEC firms’ is also incorrect., and as you mention ignores ‘key AEC players and overlooks significant web-based developments such as Autodesk Buzzsaw, Constructware (now Autodesk-owned), e-Builder…’
    All of these vendors, including e-Builder, have provided additional document management functionality and features like x-ref management (the capacity for the system to automatically search a user’s workstation and compile a document’s associated xrefs and other files) during document upload onto the project folders.
    Thank you for your comments

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